I thought of someone tonight, whom I haven't thought of in a long time. A man who raised me, but wasn't my biological father. A man who had already sacrificed his life raising three crazy children long before I showed up. A man who was a good provider for his family, and provided for their family long after he was gone from this earth. A man who would sit outside the house with me, in Canarsie, when all the kids at PS 115 stole from me, ridiculed me, and framed me for things I would never do. He played a simple game with me. The game was played with a blue rubber ball and a coin. The only object of the game was to hit the coin in such a way, as to cause it to flip over. There were no winners or losers at this game. Just the game itself. It always made me feel better about everything.
This man would take me out into the world and I would feel safe from its horrors. He first introduced me to Coney Island's rides and Nathan's hot dogs. We would also go to this strange amusement park in Brooklyn, which was almost out of business, so we usually had the place to ourselves. It has been about 16 years or more since he was taken at a young age of 55 from his apartment in Midtown Manhattan, which he would let me stay at when he wasn't there, when I was older. He was the type of guy that would always foot the bill whether he was asked or not, and even helped me start a business which did so well the high school asked to stop because I was profiting more than they were from the students. After all, we just sold skateboard equipment. He had a class, a charm and could own the room if necessary.
He also had a raging temper, but never once unleashed it on me. He knew that part of me understood when I was wrong and I was always doing my best, with the cards I was dealt. I am so thankful for this person being in my life and setting the high standard for the people that I have in my life today. I can't thank you enough for your time that you spent with me. I hope everyone gets to have a grandfather as fantastic as you always will be to me.
Your loving Grandson.